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How Did Life Originate?
In Discussion Questions
BioLogos: What Is BioLogos?
In Article Discussion
cwh
Commentator
Commentator
Mar 14, 2018
Hello All, I've spent a considerable amount of time on the BioLogos forum, although my activity has a flagged a bit lately. The time I've spent there has allowed me to get a feel for the forum-goers, but there isn't a great deal of involvement with the BioLogos leadership there. My point being that I think SMS has a good point with his post and I really don't have a good explanation for the curious language. It seems they are making a point to emphasize the belief in Biblical inspiration and authority, but calling their beliefs (or our beliefs, I should confess) historical may be stretching it a bit. It is true that widespread belief in an old earth is relatively new, but why would Augustine write "The literal meaning of Genesis" if it was unanimously accepted that a literalistic interpretation was the only possible interpretation? I'd like to also point out that at one point in history, it was believed that the earth was the center of the solar system (and the universe) and that all else moved around it, and the earth was flat and the sky was supported by pillars. Scientific discoveries have forced changes in how certain Biblical passages are interpreted before. I suspect Jacob is reading much more into the sentence than what is intended. If anyone happened to follow the link at the bottom of the page to "About Us", you probably noticed that this tops the list of "What We Believe": "We believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God. By the Holy Spirit it is the “living and active” means through which God speaks to the church today, bearing witness to God’s Son, Jesus, as the divine Logos, or Word of God." Again, this is at the top of the list. If the order of mention is actually critical, then it should also be meaningful that this tops their list. Regarding evolution, there are questions that remain to be answered, and the challenges trying to unravel what may have happened far in the past are considerable. However, that does not mean that the entire theory of evolution is inconclusive. It is far from that. There are lines of evidence in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and ecology that all support the theory. One passage of Augustine's "The literal meaning of Genesis" has been translated like this; " Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7] "
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Answers In Genesis: Can An Evolutionist Be A Creationist?
In Article Discussion
cwh
Commentator
Commentator
Jan 17, 2018
I'm clearly going to carry some bias into this discussion, so I think it it worth admitting that when most people hear "creationist", what comes to mind is specifically a young earth creationist. But must it and should it be this way? I contend that it is much more important to believe in the almighty Creator, than to believe in the specific details of His creative work. Mr. Hodge believes that the person in his illustration that refers to himself as an "evolutionary creationist" is wrangling about words, but perhaps Mr. Hodge should extend the benefit of the doubt and consider why someone would want to identify as such. Mr. Hodge continues to criticize Dr. Francis Collins for identifying as an evolutionary creationist, and implies that it is a less than honest epithet. However, after reading Collins' The Language of God, and hearing him speak at a BioLogos convention this past Spring, I feel strongly that he uses the term for the same reason I do - he believes in God as the Creator and Sustainer of all things, but also believes that evolution is the tool that He used to bring about life as we see it now. Collins uses Creationist as a noun because that's what he feels is most important, not because he is trying to dupe anyone. Hodge's treatment of Collins is blatantly unfair, but doesn't stop there. His skepticism of Collins' Christianity is evident throughout the article, but one section really stood out to me. He refers to Bill Nye as "an atheist who believes in molecules-to-man evolution" and Ken Ham as "a Bible-believing Christian", but has these words for Collins, "a well-known scientist who professes to be a Christian", as if his acceptance of evolution somehow places Collins' acceptance of the gift of Jesus Christ as somewhat dubious. Additionally, I believe Hodges is flat-out wrong when trying to decide if Francis Collins is more like Bill Nye or Ken Ham. Francis Collins is a new creation, bought with the blood of Jesus Christ and a joint heir with Him, just like Ken Ham, and VERY much different from Bill Nye. Hodges also wonders if, since Ken Ham does believe in some biological change over time, BioLogos would be content if Ken Ham also called himself an evolutionary creationist. I understand his point, but it is something of a ridiculous argument since Ham has zero desire to do so. Since Collins wants to be known as an evolutionary creationist, maybe it is worth considering why. Before I get snarky toward Hodges, let me just say this -- the reason I participate in on-line discussions about science and Christian faith is because I have a dream of a day when young-earth creationists and evolutionary creationists accept one another. I hope to see the day when young-earth creationists will not view a belief in evolution and be suspicious of a true conversion experience, and evolutionary creationists will not view a belief in young-earth creation as intellectually bankrupt. This has not been my experience her at all, but believe me, I have considerable experience struggling against these trends at other sites. God bless!
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Is Science A Higher Authority Than The Bible?
In Discussion Questions
cwh
Commentator
Commentator
Jan 08, 2018
Hi Kirk, thanks for your patience with the Doug Axe and probability argument. Honestly, this was not a topic in his talks and in our correspondence. I have heard other arguments based on probability, though, and it may be something similar. Imagine if I go in to my class at the beginning of the Spring semester and I ask for each of their birthdays. Student 1 has a birthday that is a 1 in 365 chance, so I go on to student 2, 3, and all the way up to 35. I could calculate that the probability of my students having all their respective birthdays is 1/365 raised to the 35th power. It would be a near-impossibility mathematically, but there it is. Mathematical odds aren't a very good argument against current phenomena that have unfolded throughout history, regardless of how long that history is. It was Axe's scientific pursuits and explanations to a lay audience that I found flawed at best, and misleading at worst. And let's just say the attitude of respect that I have appreciated with you guys (even though you frequently disagree with me) was not present at all in Dr. Axe's presentations. One other small point -- my perception of God's creation is not random at all, in contrast to an atheistic evolution perception. Denis Lamoureux had an analogy I really liked: "Imagine that God’s creative action in the origin of the world to be like the stroke of a cue stick in a game of billiards. Divide and label the balls into three groups using the words “heavens,” “earth,” and “living organisms,” and let the 8-ball represent humanity. The young earth creationist depicts the Creator making single shot after single shot with no miscues until all the balls are off the table. No doubt about it, that is remarkable. A progressive creationist sees the opening stroke that breaks the rack of balls as the Big Bang, from which the inanimate universe evolves by natural processes. All of the billiard balls labelled heavens and earth are sunk by this initial shot. Then God sinks the balls that signify living organisms and humans individually. That is even more impressive. Evolutionary creationists assert that the God-of-the-individual-shots, like the God-of-the-gaps who intervenes intermittently in creating the world, fails to reveal fully the power and foresight of the Designer. According to this Christian view of evolution, the breaking stroke is so finely tuned and incredibly precise that not only are all the balls sunk, but they drop in order. It begins with those labelled heavens, then earth, followed by living organisms, and finally the 8-ball—the most important ball in billiards—representing humans. And to complete the analogy, the Lord pulls this last ball out of the pocket and holds it in His hands to depict His personal involvement with men and women."
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cwh

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